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Obama’s Enablers

Meet the mainstream media.

Sep 5, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 47 • By FRED BARNES
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When the negotiations over a $4-billion “grand bargain” on spending cuts and deficit reduction broke down in July, the White House blamed House speaker John Boehner for walking out rather than acceding to a hefty tax hike. Who did the media blame? Boehner, naturally.

But is the public mollified by excuses? I don’t think so. Had Obama summoned Boehner back to the White House, eased his demand for higher taxes, and wrapped up a deal, the public would have been impressed. Obama would have gotten credit, just as he did last December when a bipartisan compromise was reached on spending and taxes. This time, the notion that Obama, as president, might have a responsibility to forge an agreement was lost on the media.

Interviewed by Anthony Mason of CBS News last week, Obama offered a fresh excuse for failing to get his way with Congress. People “want me to be able to wrangle Congress and get them moving,” he said. “And you know, we’ve got this thing, separation of powers. .  .  . It means that there are times where Congress is gonna do things” he opposes. Separation of powers? He might as well have blamed Hamilton and Madison.

His interviewer didn’t follow up on that unique alibi. He asked Obama, were he a middle-class voter, if he would vote for him for a second term. “Well,” Obama said, “I actually would.”

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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